We’re one day away from the official start of the London 2012 games, and London (if not the UK) is being engulfed in Olympic atmosphere. At the SLA conference in Chicago last week lots of people asked me about my reaction to London staging the Olympics. In true British style I replied whingeing about the traffic chaos I’d have to endure! There’s been a lot in the UK media this week telling us all to rejoice in the Olympics being here, but for those of us in London we’re still all grumbling about our journeys to work.
Maybe, however, with the opening ceremony tomorrow we’re beginning to revel in the joys of being host city! I’ve started a daily count of sightings of volunteer ambassadors (10 yesterday) and security folk (1 yesterday and 1 this morning) I see around London. While today the torch relay is making it’s penultimate journey around boroughs in London, before heading for the Thames tomorrow. Its route today is close to my office so I took the opportunity to watch and get into the Olympic spirit. I got to work early at 0745 to go and watch the torch go down Rosebery Avenue. We were lucky to be on a road where spectators were only one person deep, the police were helpful and friendly and it was amusing to watch people coming out of their offices with mugs of coffee to watch. Bemused cyclists, busy commuting to work and unaware of the torch behind them, were greeted with cheers as though they were competing in the Tour de France.
The actual torch bearer was preceded by several sponsors’ buses handing out streamers and flags, and several police outriders, all of whom waved, smiled and said hello. The Metropolitan Police must be getting a lot of valuable PR out of the torch relay.
It was all over in a flash after the torch bearer ran past, and life returned to normal for all of us. It was a great way to start the day and here’s hoping the next 2 weeks or so are equally as fun. Just don’t ask me about my commute!